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Defying The Censors

Sizzling crusader


Internet porn star Savita Bhabhi returns in a full-length animated feature film to rage against internet censorship

She's known as India's first porn star, albeit an animated one, whose sexual escapades as a bored housewife ignored by her workaholic husband came as manna for millions of silently frustrated men. But, when she makes her return to computer screens this May, Savita Bhabhi will be a sizzling crusader against internet censorship. 

The 'Savita Bhabhi Movie' will be released online in India next month and the premiere will be streamed live. Produced by Savita Bhabhi's creator Deshmukh - a pseudonym for Puneet Aggarwal - the film revolves around the theme of internet censorship, of which Savita herself was a prominent example. The website on which her fictional escapades were published was banned by the government citing anti-pornography laws. 

Deshmukh's aim is to get people talking about how internet censorship affects them - and he seems to have got that going. In just 13 days after the new website www. savitabhabhimovie. com went online in late March, more than one lakh people subscribed for updates and the option to buy tickets to the film's premiere. Twitter and Facebook was buzzing with anticipation and opinions about the trailer and the storyline. 

"The reaction to the news of the 'Savita Bhabhi Movie' has been tremendous, " Deshmukh wrote to TOICrest from London. "Our Facebook page is now reaching 50, 000 people every day. I receive tons of emails a day from fans saying they cannot wait for the movie. This has truly been a humbling experience, because I know that Savita Bhabhi became who she is only because of her fan base. " 

Deshmukh expects 10, 000 users to log in and watch the film. The movie, he hopes, will fetch $1 million from ticket sales in the first six months. "Revenue from sales of movie merchandise has not been quantified yet, but we expect that to be quite substantial too, " he says. 

The character of Savita Bhabhi was the product of a drunk conversation between friends on how "no Indian woman would publicly expose what she did in the bedroom because of the hypocritical nature of the Indian mindset". In order to get what she yearns for, the neglected housewife seduces door-to-door salesmen and neighbourhood cricket players. 

The lure of Savita Bhabhi "was and still is a unique niche in the Indian entertainment scene. It's entertainment for adults who want to embrace their sexuality, but not just regular porn. SB is about women exploring their sexuality and being sexually liberated. Via SB, what we are trying to show is that sex isn't only something a man wants from a woman. Women need pleasure as much as men, " says Deshmukh. 

The website promises that Savita's "inaugural venture on the big screen is full of surprises, twists and lots of sex". The film is set in the year 2070. "The fact that it is in the future was important to the plot, and equally so to portray the future of India if we ignore the ever increasing censorship around us. 2070 seemed to be an ideal date that was far enough in the future to make this believable, but still close enough to instill a sense of urgency, " says Deshmukh. 

"The concept of Savita Bhabhi fits in perfectly with the right to free speech and allowing people to decide what they want to consume on the internet. The 15 million people who visit the site every month can't all be too immature to be told what's good for them and what's not, " he says. 

The tipping point for the creator of the series was how instead of opening up, India seemed headed in the opposite direction when it came to issues of free speech and internet censorship. Young girls are arrested for sharing a Facebook status and people threatened for putting up opinions on social media. 

"We decided that the current climate needed a radically strong message and it was time for the 'Savita Bhabhi Movie'. Savita's fight in the movie against internet censorship is a metaphor for our actual fight against the moral police who have taken it upon themselves to decide what the rest of India should watch or not, " he says. 

More than 30 animators, 10 audio engineers and voice actors and a plethora of other creative and administrative staff were roped in to make sure that the movie stayed true to the standards set by the comic. The animation process was started in Europe with the storyboards and passed on to a Canadian animation company for production. Apart from the producer, the movie, which has people from the Philippines to Lithuania, doesn't feature any Indian input because of the authorities' stand on SB.

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